When the Falcons cornerbacks sit together in their meeting room and discuss goals for the season the conversation starts obviously with the Super Bowl. That's the case for every player, position and team in the NFL, especially this time of the year when training camps are in full swing and expectations are soaring all over the country.
Only two teams will get to the final game of the season and a lot has to happen for those two teams. In the meantime, players set goals and milestones for what they want to accomplish and where they want to be at the season's end in order to help them get to the Super Bowl.
After finishing 20th in the league last season in passing yards allowed on defense, the Falcons have spent some time upgrading the defensive secondary. They've added Asante Samuel and Mike Nolan. Samuel, a corner, is expected to help raise Atlanta's interception totals, a number that ended last year at 19.
Nolan, the new defensive coordinator, is looking to bring a more aggressive defensive look to the Falcons, a scheme predicated on getting to the pass rusher and stifling the NFL's emerging high-powered passing games.
Moves like those create expectations, internally and externally, and the Falcons cornerbacks have some. When asked, Dunta Robinson didn't back down from sharing what their expectations are.
"To be number one in pass defense," Robinson said on Sunday. "I think that's our goal and we're not afraid to say that. We want to be the best group on the back end that there is in the NFL."
Of course, that's not a ranking that is created by just the secondary. The front seven's ability to get to the quarterback will also help the cornerbacks achieve their goal. Last season Atlanta's 33 sacks was ranked 19th in the league. An improvement there would be substantial.
"I know that starts as a collective defense and the pass rush, but those are our goals," Robinson said. "I think as long as you set your goals high, you have a very good chance of being a good football team. We're dreaming big and we're thinking big. Now it's just a matter of going out there and getting the job done."